MLB Notebook: The mess that is the Chicago White Sox, and Kevin Brown’s censorship
Photo credit:© Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
By Michael Liu1 month ago
Welcome back to MLB Notebook, brought to you by The Batter’s Box Podcast! In this column, we’ll examine news and notes from around Major League Baseball — oftentimes through a Toronto Blue Jays-tinted lens.
What’s gone wrong on the south side of Chicago?
So the Chicago White Sox are unravelling in front of us and it’s not just Tim Anderson getting rocked.
The right hook that Jose Ramirez landed on Anderson seemed to just be the tip of the iceberg when it came to bad news that would be dumped upon the White Sox organization this week. A scathing piece by former White Sox relief pitcher Keynan Middleton was released the very next day on ESPN, detailing the massive dysfunction behind the scenes in the organization.
There’s a lot to unpack in this article, but the main points that Middleton touches on centre around the fact that the White Sox clubhouse was plagued by a culture with no rules. There were rookies falling asleep in the bullpen, players missing meetings and practices, without any form of accountability or repercussions. It reads like satire, but when even Lance Lynn says that “I was there a lot longer than Key was. He’s not wrong,” is very damning for the organization. The piece is definitely worth a read for the rollercoaster ride that it is.
The PR fiasco didn’t stop there, as Shane Riordan would drop another bomb on the White Sox. He told the tale about Anderson and veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal, who got into a physical altercation prior to the trade deadline. Grandal came out later on August 7th to (sort of) refute the claims, but he did it in a very roundabout way.
As if to rub more salt in the wound, MLB dished out suspensions for everyone involved in the conflict. Anderson, the man who was knocked to the floor, ended up receiving a longer suspension than Ramirez, the man who knocked him on the ground. Times are tough for the White Sox who seems completely lost at sea after once looking like a young-and-coming team.
Which ring of hell are Angels fans falling into?
There was a lot of discussion about the Los Angeles Angels buying at the trade deadline. While yes, the team was flawed and probably only had an outside chance to make the postseason, at least they made a concerted effort to show Shohei Ohtani that they were committed to winning, right?
Well, about that.
Since making all those moves at the deadline, the Angels have completely fallen off the map. They have lost seven games in a row, dropping their already fading playoff hopes even further. This is in spite of Ohtani doing everything he can to carry this team on his back, putting together an insane year both on the mound and at the plate. It seems that fate herself is intervening to punish Gabe Moreno, at the expense of two generational talents. How weird is it to think that Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout will never play in the postseason as members of the same team?
LA’s odds of making the playoffs have dropped to 1.5% according to FanGraphs. If they keep playing the way that they have been, expect those odds to drop to 0% in the next week.
Kevin Brown’s plight draws support from around the league
Tyson Shushkewich already wrote up a piece on the Kevin Brown situation, so I’ll redirect your attention to his piece here to catch up on the details. On the brighter side of the situation, it feels as if every announcer around the league shares the unanimous opinion that the Orioles dun goofed. The best part is that a lot of this support was expressed openly on local, regional, and national broadcasts.
There was Gary Cohen’s soliloquy during the Mets game last night:
The Red Sox’s team of Dave O’Brien and Kevin Youkilis came down hard on Baltimore as well, and it was a little odd to be agreeing with Michael Kay so much during his massive rant on his radio show:
Sources have been able to piece together that Kevin Brown was indeed suspended for the clip in question, which just makes this all the odder. The Orioles have essentially Streisand affected themselves, by suspending their play-by-play announcer for drawing attention to the fact that they were indeed bad at Tropicana Field, now everyone knows that the Baltimore Orioles have struggled to win at the Trop. Brittany Ghiroli of the Athletic had sources that said ownership took exception to the comments (that were also in the game notes!) because it made them sound cheap. Funny, because Baltimore also ranks 29th in payroll.
Regardless, the Orioles, who were having a great season on the field, now find themselves embroiled in the front-office drama that might consume the positivity that the team was generating. It’s hard to feel bad though, if you’re a Jays fan.
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